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Puzz.com's Hidden Puzzle Contests

Please Note: the Hidden Puzzle Contests are no longer being run. This is an archive of the contests that were run, along with their solutions and a list of the winners.

Hidden puzzles? Why, the audacity of the idea! Actually, I found a site doing something somewhat similar to this, & thought it was a great idea. Here's how it works: I have a puzzle hidden somewhere on one of my pages. It will begin by saying "This is the question for the Hidden Puzzle Contest:"

The puzzle will usually be fairly tough. It may be a word puzzle or riddle, and some of the puzzles may use numbers, logic, or other themes.

There will only be one puzzle, and it can only be found on one page. When you find the puzzle and think you've found the answer, send it to me, and I'll let you know pretty quickly whether or not you answered correctly. You can try the same puzzle multiple times. Once it is answered correctly, I'll immediately take the puzzle down and list it here, along with the name (or nickname or pseudonym, if you prefer) of the person who solved it, and, if you like, what city, state, and country you live in. Be sure to indicate what information you do or do not want listed about yourself when you send in your answers. I'll also include the answer to the puzzle, of course. Any number of people can work together to solve the puzzle, but I will only give one prize per puzzle! You can use books, calculators, & just about anything else to solve the puzzle.

The prize is $20 cash or $40 worth of products from our games & puzzles store with free shipping - your pick. You also get to pick the products, if you choose the store option. I'll ship the prize(s) to the winner immediately. I'll have a new puzzle hidden away shortly after announcing the winner and the answer, & I will announce the fact that a new puzzle has been posted on this page. The same person or group may win any number of contests, & receive a prize each time.

So that's the deal. Don't try it if you don't like it, but otherwise, I hope you have fun with it. You may not even be looking for the puzzle, and may just happen upon it. Feel free to write me if there are questions. Enjoy!

PUZZLE CONTEST #30 was solved by Shirley Wolf on 11/3/00. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/anskimsriddles.html and read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #30: If you do not have an 'emergency chute,' how do you survive if your parachute will not open? Please be thorough in explaining your answer. The answer is taken from a book, source to be provided when the puzzle is solved. This is not a trick question :-)" The answer, as submitted by Shirley:

"The answer to this puzzle is from a book by David Borgenicht and Joshua Piven (at http://www.worstcasescenarios.com/adventure.htm)

I have copied the following from the above website."

Well, instead of copying that here, you may visit the site or (better yet!) buy the book. Good job, Shirley!

PUZZLE CONTEST #29 was solved by Serge Trepakov, Novosibirsk, Russia, on 10/27/00. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/list-sample3.html and read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #29: What is the name of the movie and the character who refers to a 'fuel injected suicide machine'?"

The movie was Mad Max and the character was the Night Rider.

PUZZLE CONTEST #28 was solved by Serge Trepakov, Novosibirsk, Russia, on 10/26/00. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/mage.html and read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #28: Who ran for '3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours'?"

The answer is Forrest Gump.

PUZZLE CONTEST #27 was solved by Melanie, a 15 year old from New York, on 9/27/00. The puzzle was hidden on http://puzz.com/stickels.html and read: "Here is Hidden Puzzle Contest twenty-seven. It was created by Terry Stickels. You may only send one answer to this contest, and if it is wrong, you cannot try again. Good luck! Here it is:

What are the maximum of separate volumes that can be formed by 2 interpenetrating cubes?

a) Use only the surfaces of the cubes for consideration of the bounded volumes.

b) Do not consider any subdivisions of the volumes."

The answer is TWELVE. Sorry, no visual aid is presently available, but Terry Stickels assures me that the answer is correct.

PUZZLE CONTEST #26 was solved by Shirley Wolf on 1/23/00. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/mindtrap.html and read: "
number twenty-six: What 2 numbers should replace the question marks? Note: you are only allowed to submit one answer for this puzzle, so be sure to give it your best shot! Series: 3 8 ? 17 18 25 ? 33 40 42 47". The answer, as submitted by Shirley:

"The missing numbers are 10 and 32. This makes the series read: 3 8 10 17 18 25 32 33 40 42 47, and the sum of each two of the end numbers totals 50. For example 47+3, 42+8, 40+10, 33+17, 32+18, and 25 plus itself each add up to 50."

PUZZLE CONTEST #25 was solved by Shirley Wolf on 1/21/00. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/gen.html, and read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #25: I have an even number of letters. When I am unevenly split, my second half makes a new word. The numbers of letters in the 2 pieces resulting from this split are both prime. I have something to do with a deadly poison. My eighth letter is n. What word am I?"

The answer that I had was cyanogenetic. However, these are the answers that Shirley submitted, at least the first of which is correct:
nitrobenzene  (nitro/benzene)
warfarin (warfa/rin)
coumarin (couma/rin)
coumadin (couma/din)
toluidin (tolui/din)  (alternate spelling of toluidine)

PUZZLE CONTEST #24 was solved by Sharon Howell of Affton, Missouri on 1/21/00. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/life.html and read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #24: What letters complete this series? umutetr"

After issuing a hint in the HPC Newsletter, Sharon responded with the answer fas. The logic is Sunday Monday (backwards) Tuesday Wednesday Thursday (backwards) Friday Saturday Sunday. The answer is also acceptable as fa, as the Sunday step is not necessary.

PUZZLE CONTEST #23 was solved by Shirley Wolf on 12/25/99. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/sweepslinks.html and read: "32 tsetnoc elzzup neddih rof noitseuq eht si sihT: Suzy and Sally are Samantha's grandmother's son's wife's daughters. What relation is Samantha to Suzy and Sally? Question taken from the card deck Mind-Bending Puzzles 5: Math and Word Problems, by Terry Stickels. Puzzle used with permission from the author. There are two possible answers to this problem: you must list both."

Later, it was discovered that there were far more than 2 answers to this problem... that being the case, I posted this hint to the HPC Newsletter: "Samantha, Suzy, and Sally are all blood related."

The answer on the card is: "She is either their sister or their first cousin." Evidently my hint still didn't clear up the issue, as you'll see from Shirley's answer: "Either Samantha is a sister to Suzy and Sally, or she is a first cousin to Suzy and Sally. Alternatively, Samantha may be a half-sister or a half first cousin to Suzy and Sally."

PUZZLE CONTEST #22 was solved by James Layland on 11/17/99. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/testyourverbaliq.html, and read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #22: What does the following say? 06 04 03 03 08 20 N Z H G V I. The answer: puzzle master. The first 6 digits shown are the first 2 numbers that follow the decimal point when you divide 1 by that letter of the alphabet. That is, p = 16th letter = 1/16 = .06, u = 21st letter = 1/21 = .04, and so on. The last 6 letters in the series were switched as follows:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
Z Y X W V U T S R Q P O N

so M = N, A = Z, and so on. Tommy Smith had solved the first part of the problem earlier than James.

PUZZLE CONTEST #21 was solved by Shirley Wolf on 11/14/99. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/dark.html, and appeared as follows:


number twenty-one: can you determine what each of the three following sets of letters and numbers represent (there are three different answers, one for each set)?

1. 4j 4k 4q
2. 1f 1m 2s 2t 1w
3. 2a 1d 1f 3j 2m 1n 1o 1s

The answers (as given by the winner):

1. Number of jacks, kings, and queens in a standard deck of playing cards (4).

2. Initial letters of the 7 days of the week.

3. Initial letters of the 12 months of the year.

PUZZLE CONTEST #20 was solved by James Layland on 11/15/99. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/association.html, and appeared as follows:

This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #20: csoht roohg ei mna veg dag csroong e: _________________. to ssohw ooh?

The following hints were posted to the HPC Newsletter on 11/13/99:

"...the puzzle isn't hard to find, but it is tough. When you do find it, read it backwards, and read the 'words' by their sounds, which will form words. You'll then have a trivia-type question. This puzzle is based on some fairly well known old ones, and was written by Tommy Smith."

The answer (slightly edited, but essentially as given by the winner):

The question (translated) reads:

"A Norse god gave an eye for this: _______________. Who was it?"

The answer is wisdom.

(The god in question is Odin.)

PUZZLE CONTEST #19 was solved by James Layland on 10/4/99. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/trivia2.html, and read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #19: My first band was a "rock" band. I was a very famous man and married a woman whose name means something like "progeny of the sea." Who am I and what did I say? 5296911 4691529 1 52652524841894". The answers: John Lennon and "give peace a chance." This puzzle was written by Tommy Smith. John Lennon's first band was the Quarrymen. John later became very famous and married Yoko Ono, who's name means "ocean child." The code for the second answer is as follows: Take the numerical value of each letter (ex. A=1, B=2, C=3, etc.) then multiply the number by itself. You get the code: 49-81-484-25 1 9-64-1-196-9-25. Reverse the code but present it with the same number of letters in each "word" as will appear in the answer.

PUZZLE CONTEST #18 was solved by Nathan Glasser on 10/4/99. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/news.html, & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #18: What cult horror & comedy movie includes the statement "It's a trick. Get an axe"?" Answer: Army of Darkness.

PUZZLE CONTEST #17 was solved by Nathan Glasser on 9/16/99. This one may have been too easy folks, because Shirley Wolf and James Layland also solved it shortly after Nathan. I'll have to make them harder again... The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/puzzlersans.html, and read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #17: What sci-fi/horror movie shows both children and adults singing "I'm a Little Teapot" at different times?" The answer is Stephen King's "Storm of the Century."

PUZZLE CONTEST #16 was solved by Shirley Wolf on 9/15/99. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/initials.html, & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #16: The following incomplete sequence reveals a title. What is the last word in the sequence, and what is the title? foreign tile one neckerchief tale ?" I posted some hints in the HPC Newsletter, and a few days later (partially in response to the hints), Shirley wrote:

"Based on your clues, I believe that the movie is "In the Name of the Father."

If the last (6th) word is "INNER" (or any word beginning with "I" and ending in "R" such as "INTER" or "INFER", then the words would read thus:

FN TE OE NF TE IR

Take the first letter of the 6th word: I
Take the last letter of the 1st word: N
Take the first letter of the 5th word: T
Take the last letter of the 2nd word: E
Take the first letter of the 4th word: N
Take the last letter of the 3rd word: E
Take the first letter of the 3rd word: O
Take the last letter of the 4th word: F
Take the first letter of the 2nd word: T
Take the last letter of the 5th word: E
Take the first letter of the 1st word: F
Take the last letter of the 6th word: R

Therefore, the letters now read: IN TE NE OF TE FR, and "In the Name of the Father" is the only Irish movie that seems to work with these letters.

PUZZLE CONTEST #15 was solved by Shirley Wolf on 8/17/99. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/double.html, & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #15: I was used by the Greeks, & a descendant of my first half was a great hero in Greek Mythology. I am very small, & my second and last letters are both vowels. What am I?" The answer is IOTA (Io's descendant was Hercules).

PUZZLE CONTEST #14 was solved by James Layland of Monrovia CA (again!) on 6/14/99. The puzzle was hidden near the bottom of http://www.puzz.com/tips.html, & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #14: What name does the following indicate? Beans 1 Onion 0 Sausage 2 Cheese -1 Lemon -2 Chives 1 Potato -3 Watermelon 2 Beef 1 Carrot 0" The answer, put best by James himself, is:

Eisenhower. bEans 1 onIon 0 Sausage 2 cheEse -1 lemoN -2 cHives 1 potatO -3 Watermelon 2 bEef 1 caRrot 0

PUZZLE CONTEST #13 was solved by Shirley Wolf of Rockville, Maryland on 6/12/99. The puzzle was hidden on http://www.puzz.com/aboardans.html, & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #13: What does the following code say? 20192222, 17 5164257 126 2519616 1618 4 10181251641725 4257 17 21131826 1716 7182025 20171613 161319 1972319 182 1012 134257." This is a numbergram, which is just like a cryptogram, but with the numbers 1-26 exchanged for letters. It reads "Well, I stand up next to a mountain and I chop it down with the edge of my hand." This is taken from the Jimi Hendrix song Voodoo Chile (complete lyrics are on http://www.grnco.net/~bigdave/kidmosey/lyrics/Jimi_Hendrix/Voodoo_Chile.shtml). Hidden Puzzle Contest #14 has been posted!

PUZZLE CONTEST #12 was solved by James Layland of Monrovia, CA on 6/7/99. The puzzle was hidden near the bottom of the page at http://www.puzz.com/movietrivia2.html & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #12: sprained ankle + "you're ugly!" is a play on words (punzzle) of what well known saying?" The answer is "Adding insult to injury." Hidden Puzzle Contest #13 has been posted!

PUZZLE CONTEST #11 was solved by Irving Campbell on 4/4/99. The puzzle was hidden in the middle of the page at http://www.puzz.com/puzzles.html & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #11: "Divine Heroin" is a play on words on the name of what?" The answer is the band GODSMACK. Hidden Puzzle Contest #12 has been posted (6/6/99)!

Contest #10 was not hidden, but was instead the Chimera Test. The reward for the person who solved all of the problems on the test was $100 and a box of THINKfast. No one ever solved all of the problems, so the contest ended, and the answers are on this page.

PUZZLE CONTEST #9 was solved by Cathy Wilson on 3/31/99. This note was previously published in the Hidden Puzzle Contest Newsletter, which you can subscribe to at the top of this page:

Here is a hint for contest #9: the puzzle is hidden at http://www.puzz.com/memory.html. In Netscape (and I believe it's a similar procedure in Explorer) you'll need to go to the page, and then click "view" and then "document source" or "page source" to find the puzzle. This one was indeed well hidden (too well, in fact), and I won't make any this hard to find in the future -- I promise! Still, a couple of people have found the puzzle without this hint, but have been unable to solve it. I think one of you will have it solved before long, though! Good luck!

The puzzle was and is hidden in the meta tags on the page mentioned above, and reads "This, is, the, question, for, Hidden, Puzzle, Contest, #9:, In, the, movies, The, Spanish, Prisoner, and, Can't, Hardly, Wait, what, famous, saying, is, said, in, one, movie, and, appears, in, the, other?" The answer is "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes." The quote is originally from Thoreau. Puzzle Contests 10 & 11 have been posted!

PUZZLE CONTEST #8 was solved by James Layland on 11/18/98. The puzzle was hidden near the bottom of http://www.puzz.com/returnsans.html & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #8: What does the following sentence say? Umiv gv hmre drs wrv." The answer is "Tofu is good for you." There was a three step repeated descrambling pattern, using the alphabet: Step 1: Write the letter preceding the first letter; Step 2: Write the second letter to the right of the second letter; Step 3: Write the third letter to the left of the third letter; & then contine, beginning again with step 1. Hidden Puzzle Contest #9 has been posted!

PUZZLE CONTEST #7 was solved by Nathan Glasser on 10/19/98. The puzzle was hidden near the bottom of http://www.puzz.com/start.html & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #7: What 8 letter name or word that ends in "s" is related to 2941 and Ohio?" The answer is COLUMBUS (2941 backward is 1492). Hidden Puzzle Contest #8 has been posted.

PUZZLE CONTEST #6 was solved by Jennifer Narang on 10/19/98. The puzzle was hidden at the bottom of http://www.puzz.com/intans.html & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #6: What is the answer to the following? 202 171623518 5319 212" The answer is HEL, the Norse goddess of the dead. This was a very tough puzzle. The answer was found by replacing the numbers in the code with the letters they represent BOTH from the standard English alphabet AND from the elements on the Periodic Table. The numbers spell out "The answer is Hel." Hidden Puzzle Contest #7 has been posted.

PUZZLE CONTEST #5 was solved by Andreas Rottler on 8/21/98. The puzzle was hidden at the bottom of http://www.puzz.com/books.html & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #5: Remove my first 5 letters & you have a word meaning 'dead.' Remove my first 2 letters & my last 3 letters, & then read me backward, & you have a word meaning 'calm.' What am I?" The answer is PULLULATE. Hidden Puzzle Contest #6 has been posted.

PUZZLE CONTEST #4 was solved by Nathan Glasser of Somerville, MA on 8/20/98. The puzzle was hidden in the middle of http://www.puzz.com/mind.html, & was written in text of the same color as the background, thus making it invisible to ordinary detection. It read "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #4: If you have 3 dice that are shaped as a tetrahedron, a cube, & an icosahedron, & you rolled each of them, each die would display a number from 1-4, 1-6, & 1-20, respectively. Assume that the tetrahedron & icosahedron are regular. If there is an equal chance that a die will display any of its numbers each time it is rolled, what percent chance is there that the numbers rolled will total 7 if all three dice are rolled once, & the numbers they display are added together?" The answer is 14/480, 7/240, or approximately 2.91%, as there are 14 situations where the dice will show a total of 7 out of 480 possible combinations. Hidden Puzzle Contest #5 has been posted.

PUZZLE CONTEST #3 was solved by Andreas Rottler & Martin Oehm on 8/11/98. The puzzle was hidden in the middle of the last paragraph on http://www.puzz.com/cubeg.html, & read "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #3: If you remove my first & last letters, & then read me backward, you have the name of a famous (now fallen) empire. I am a type of fish, but can also mean 'hindrance.' What am I?" The answer is REMORA. Both Andreas & Martin live in Germany. Hidden Puzzle Contest #4 has been posted.

PUZZLE CONTEST #2 was solved by Andreas Rottler (AKA Rottus) on 8/6/98. The puzzle was imbedded in the middle of the second paragraph (but isn't there anymore) at http://www.puzz.com/ctnotes.html, & read: "This is the question for Hidden Puzzle Contest #2: How do you get visitors to your hotel to feel privileged? Unreal ollas theatrical redundancy carves petulant forlorn theocratic peon's plectrum." The answer could be found by stringing together the first 3 letters of each word following the question mark, to read "Unroll the red carpet for the people." Rottus has achieved one of the highest scores on my Chimera Test, & is the author of the extremely difficult Genius IQ Test. Andreas Rottler lives in Siegen, Germany. Hidden Puzzle Contest #3 has been posted.

PUZZLE CONTEST #1 was solved by Darrell Jacobs, a college student at SWTJC, Uvalde, Texas on 7/27/98. The puzzle was hidden at the very bottom of http://www.puzz.com/mythology.html (although it's not there anymore), the Astronomy & Mythology Trivia Quiz, which is listed on http://www.puzz.com/fourth.html. The puzzle read: "This is the question for the Hidden Puzzle Contest: What 4 letter word means 'village,' but when read backward means 'prick'?" The answer was DORP. Congratulations, Darrell, that was a tough one! Hidden Puzzle Contest #2 has been posted.


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